That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 1 John 1:1-2 (NIV84)
What do you get for the guy who has everything? Perhaps you’ve wrestled with this question at Christmas. The answer, invariably, is that the guy who objectively has all of his needs met would probably benefit most from something with sentimental (subjective) value. So maybe if you’re the man’s little child, you draw him a picture of the family. Or, if you’re the man’s friend, perhaps you buy him a keepsake that reminds him of a shared experience the two of you had. That’s nice. That’s sentimental. No one would deny, however, that a 3-year-old’s artwork made from Crayolas has less objective value than a painting created by Da Vinci. Objective value. Subjective value. They’re different. A truly great gift, you’d imagine, would seem to require both objective and subjective value. Right? Herein lies the “gift” God receives at Christmas. Don’t misunderstand. Of course we get a gift at Christmas—God’s only Son come to suffer and die in our place for our sins so that we might have eternal life. But what does God get from this arrangement?
Just imagine. God ruling triumphantly in heaven. And yet, in the midst of paradise, he looks around and thinks to himself, “Something’s missing.” Now what could the God who created the
cosmos, the God who has everything, possibly be lacking? This gets to the heart of the problem” of Christmas. Why in the world would God, in the person of Jesus, come to this planet to suffer and die for us?!
The only possible explanation is that God looked down from heaven and thought that the one thing he was missing, the one thing he desired above all else . . . was YOU. At Christmas, we not only gain salvation. We also gain an identity. We discover who we are, how valuable we are.
The apostle John refers to our Savior Jesus here as “That which was from the beginning” and “Word of life” and “the eternal life.” His point with this terminology is to convince his readers that Jesus was the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies and promises. He says, “we have seen” and “we have heard” and “our hands have touched” him. John is saying that God calculated the risk and pulled the trigger. He sent his Son to redeem us. That logically means that we were WORTH IT to God! Nothing in the universe has more objective value than the blood of its Creator, and yet God willingly spilled it to buy us back. Don’t ever believe someone who suggests you’re worthless. Don’t ever believe the lie of that voice in your head convincing you that you’re a loser. God didn’t think so. Taste and touch and see that he’s arrived . . . to buy you back. That’s what you’re objectively worth.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, what amazing love you’ve shown to me! That you would value me so highly that you brought yourself so low to rescue me—this is incredibly humbling. I have died to this world and risen with Jesus, my Savior. May I recognize my infinite worth and purpose through him and live out of such truth. Amen.